Gomenne, SUMMER! SKE48 Heats up Zepp Diver City During Tokyo Idol Festival 2015!
SKE48 made their triumphant return to Tokyo Idol Festival on August 1, 2015, packing Zepp Diver City full of idol fans who had assembled to see Rena Matsui’s first and last appearance at the largest idol event in the world. The floor area was stuffed to capacity as the audience buzzed in anticipation, coming to life as the familiar voice of DJ Taz kicked off the SKE48 version of “Overture”.
A loud shout of delight ran through the hall as the ice-cold keyboard melody of “Escape” (played by Rion Azuma) filled the air, erasing any lingering effects of the cruel summer heat outside. Centering the song was Kenkyuusei Rara Goto, flanked by Rena Matsui and Jurina Matsui, SKE48’s long-running double center duo known as W-Matsui.
Aya Shibata made her appearance on the stage to start of “1!2!3!4! Yoroshiku!” as several of the members exchanged places and the keyboard was taken offstage. Barely pausing to take a breath, the next song was “SKE48”, the anthemic ode to Sakae, the home of SKE48. Following a short greeting, Aya Shibata led a short talk, asking first-time members Yuna Ego, Ryoha Kitagawa, Rion Azuma, Nao Furuhata, and Rara Goto about their feelings about Tokyo Idol Festival. Ego admitted to being nervous at first but, feeling relieved once she saw how excited the crowd was. Kitagawa got so excited that her hair came undone. Azuma boasted that she was not nervous when playing the keyboards for “Escape”. Goto showed off her English-speaking skills.
The “adult sexy” members which included Rena Matsui, Akari Suda, Sae Miyazawa, Masana Oya, Mina Oba, Akane Takayanagi, Kaori Matsumura, etc. took the stage to perform “Hanabi wa Owaranai”. Miyazawa and Rena held hands while singing to start off the bittersweet song about a summer love that has long been extinguished. The members exchanged places again, with Jurina Matsui keeping the theme alive as she lead Nao Furuhata, Aya Shibata, Rara Goto, etc. in a performance of “Gomenne, SUMMER”.
Masana Oya took it upon herself to introduce the members in as short of a description as possible, resulting in some hilarious summaries. She called Sarina Souda “a ojisan hunter”, said Akari Suda’s face was “lively”, and summed up Rena Matsui with “graduating soon” before declaring herself “in charge of one-liners”. All of SKE48 assembled on the stage to perform “Mae Nomeri”, Rena’s first and last single as a solo center. Akane Takiyanaki lead the fans in a loud MIX as SKE48 continued with another of their summer classics “Pareo wa Emerald”.
A boisterous “S-K-E-4-8” call and response started off the catchy “Oki Doki”. Sweat glistened in their hair as the members of SKE48 spun and jumped around on the stage. The live drew to a close with “Aishiteraburu!”, Jurina Matsui asking the fans if they loved SKE48. Receiving a warm response, the members threw signed balls into the floor area as the fans loudly sang along.
MCs of the TV broadcast of Tokyo Idol Festival, Kuro-chan and Masaru Hamaguchi ran onto the stage to interview some of the members. Rena commented about it being her first time at Tokyo Idol Festival as a performer (she had gone in 2014 as a guest and was spotted by Rino Sashihara when HKT48 was on the Hot Stage). She expressed some initial anxiety but was relieved to have received such a positive welcome. At the same time, her heart was fluttering when she thought about the other idols that were performing on the same stage as her.
When asked to name the member she gets along with the best, Akari Suda, known for her warm interactions at handshake events, replied, “I get along best with all of the fans!” while flashing a smile. Other first time members were asked about their impressions of Tokyo Idol Festival. Rara Goto answered in English that she had fun and wanted to come again, Kaori Matsumura was grateful that she had finally become a senbatsu member after 6 years in SKE48, which is probably why she was selected to appear that day, and Yuna Ego said it was her most treasured summer memory. Jurina Matsui expressed a desire to be at Tokyo Idol Festival next year and Rena Matsui pledged to come as a guest but, seemed to hesitate when asked if she would come to see SKE48. As a known idol fan, it would definitely be a difficult choice for Rena to make if SKE48 were to be performing at the same time as her beloved Babyraids JAPAN, a challenge that many of you who were at Tokyo Idol Festival probably had when looking at the timetable. There were too many amazing performers scheduled at the same time!
It was great to see one of Japan’s biggest groups like SKE48 at Tokyo Idol Festival 2015 even though they have gotten to the point where they regularly fill large halls and stadiums. Even though Rena Matsui will be graduating at the end of August to pursue her dream of being an actress, the chances that you might just catch a glimpse of her at next year’s event?
00 Overture (SKE48 version)
02 1!2!3!4! Yoroshiku!
03 Hanabi wa Owaranai
04 Gomenne, SUMMER
06 Pareo wa Emerald
07 Oki Doki
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